Now a very global corporate player, I have known Adam Robinson for close to 20 years (eek). This numbers whizz joined Nokia in November 2004 as Head of Finance & Control for Australia & New Zealand, based in his home city of Sydney. Four years later he moved to Singapore to manage Finance & Control for Southeast Asia Pacific sales, and then in early 2012 was posted to Beijing, where he presently resides, charged with responsibility for the whole of APAC.
In April this year the Nokia devices business was acquired by Microsoft and so today he heads finance for the Microsoft Mobile Devices unit for APAC. Over his decade at Nokia, Adam has earned his stripes and worked closely with the countries and business units to tackle the various challenges of operating in the super competitive and rapidly changing mobile devices market.
Away from the office, Adam and his journalist wife Katrina are most prolific world travellers I know, fuelled by a passion for photography and diving. They are committed to exploring as many countries and underwater worlds as their career schedules allow. I am equally exhausted and utterly inspired by Adam’s travel itineraries!
The Little Things Interview
Describe yourself in one word:
Positive (annoyingly positive according to my wife)
When do you work best – morning, afternoon or night?
Night. When everyone else has gone home I find I can get the most done. No meetings, emails or other interruptions.
What is your personal passion outside work?
Travel. I’ve always got at least three trips planned ahead and try to get away every 4-6 weeks, even if it’s just for the weekend. Luckily, living in Asia makes this possible. And at the moment, because of Katrina’s work circumstances (she’s a journalist with Bloomberg), we’re living between Beijing and Hong Kong. While that’s at times challenging, it’s been quite exciting also and we feel we have the best of both worlds. Both our companies understand the situation and are quite flexible in where we work so over the past year we’ve met up all over the world when either of us has been travelling on business including Dubai, Moscow, Bangkok, Singapore, Helsinki and Tokyo.
Exercise-wise, do you prefer to sweat, stretch or strengthen your body?
Depends on my mood. Either sweat or strength. I always tend to forget about the stretch bit.
How do you define success?
Success for me is looking at where you are right now and what path you’ve made for yourself and feeling you’ve achieved more than you’d hoped for with no regrets. Success is a personal thing.
What does it for you most? Feeling successful
What’s your secret weapon to getting things done?
Getting started and then not looking at my emails.
Best communicator you know – living or deceased – and why?
That’s a difficult one. It’s easier for politicians to appear as good communicators with all those speech writers and tele-prompters. There are some great communicators in business, but I haven’t been lucky enough to meet many of them personally. Probably the best communicator I’ve know personally is one of my current colleagues. He’s very senior but is able to connect with all levels in the organisation seamlessly, switching his approach as needed. It doesn’t hurt that he seems to know the name of everyone in the company and always addresses people by name.
Your favourite quote:
“Work to live, don’t live to work”. It’s my personal mantra in a sense. I never want to look back and find I’ve been stuck behind a desk all my life.
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